Adventure Travel to the Kingdom of Lo awaits you in Nepal

The northeast district of Nepal near the Tibetan border, Mustang, is part of the Kingdom of Lo and is a challenge for lovers of adventure travel. Mustang gets its name from the Tibetan words Mun Tan meaning fertile plain. Lo was once part of Ngari in Tibet, a collection of feudal domains. It came under Tibetan rule during the reign of the most famous of the Tibetan kings, Songtsengampo. The area is divded by the Gandaki River, and its tributaries. Part of the river’s valley, the Thak Khola forms the deepest gorge in the world.

Nepal has recognized the potential of adventure travel to this remote, ancient little kingdom and has imposed a surcharge for anyone wishing to trek past Kagbeni on the border of Upper Mustang. Legal trekking has been possible only since 1992. The Upper Mustang region is very Tibetan in its characteristics and Lo Manthang is a fantastic square-walled town where the present king of Lo lives. It is believed that ten thousand years ago Mustang was, as its name implies, a much greener and more fertile land. A curious and extremely fascinating feature of this Nepal region is the thousands of cliff dwellings dating back from that time.

Kagbeni is a pretty village with narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green fields of wheat and barley and a large red gompa. The eighty families living here are mostly traders, doing business between the modern Nepal and Mustang. The Kali Gandaki flows here and it is surrounded by majestic mountains, all over twenty-two thousand feet, such as Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiri and the entire Annapurna Massif.

One can trek from here right up the river valley or use the high trail and the river bank pathways. The trail widens significantly further up and one is sure to encounter several mule trains bearing goods from Mustang and probably Tibet as well. On the west bank of the river you can see Gompa Kang and some caves. The next village is Tangbe, alongside the east bank trail, high above the river with black, white and red chortens that are characteristic of Upper Mustang. The Nilgiri is the closest mountain peak and several climbing and trekking expeditions are possible.